tinam61September 19, 2012

For jterrilynn! She requested a thread a few days ago and I totally forgot until today. This one's for you jterrilynn!!

In another thread we somehow got off on vacations, travel, etc. To me they can be completely different. Bumble mentioned an upcoming trip where she has each day planned out, they will be on-the-go, seeing new things, etc. To me that is travel. A vacation is where I go and relax and let loose LOL. I don't want things planned out. I want to be able to sleep in, lay around all day if I want. Sit by the pool, read a book, etc., etc., etc. Or we may spend the day exploring the area, antiquing, etc.

Another mentioned they had never taken an actual "vacation" with their spouse. This always surprises me because I grew up in a family that took yearly summer vacations. My husband and I have vacationed at least once a year every year during our marriage. We love vacations and look forward to them. Some are somewhat planned and booked in advance, some are spur of the moment decisions. We are neither one "planners" in our day-to-day life, both of us being a bit spontaneous. So, I guess it's only natural our vacations are somewhat the same! One of our favorite places to visit is the Charleston, SC area. We have stayed on just about all the islands in that area from SC down to GA and a few in NC. Now, you will never find us someplace like Myrtle Beach (I'm thinking of your remarks about the beach Stinky), but we love the pristine islands in that area. Dunes left in place, lush vegetation (in some areas), no little beach shops, highrises, signs, etc. Many of these islands have strict rules against those things and strive to maintain the natural area as much as possible. We usually always go spring and/or fall, when there are even fewer people around. I love walking out on the beach and seeing only a handful of people. The ocean (water of any kind really) is so soothing to me. We will plop our chairs and umbrella to the ground, pull out our drinks/snacks and sit back and enjoy it for hours on end. I can honestly FEEL the everyday stresses leaving my body. Watching the water and the ships in the distance almost mesmerizes me. I might dooze a while, read a while, walk, but mostly just enjoy the peacefulness of it all.

Other times we might load up the camper and head out for a few days of outdoor living. You all know that I love the outdoors. My husband could camp for weeks on end, but I will admit, I'm not up for that LOL. I love disconnecting from phones, computers, work, people, etc. for a few days. Hike, swim, boat, eat, sleep, etc. We enjoy state parks a good bit and they usually offer some beautiful scenery. We most often will try to find a place near the water. My husband enjoys fishing for the fun of it. It is greatly relaxing to him. Me, I can lay on the back of our boat, dose, read, or just listen to the lapping of the water on the boat and enjoy my surrounds.

Besides water, we love the moutain areas. jterrilyn - I will add to this later with some mountain areas we enjoy. I've rambled on too long. I want to hear about others and their thoughts on vacations and what they do.

So, do you vacation? Travel?


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We go on vacation every year - and I was amazed at how much I could relate to the vacation posts on the other thread.

My husband too loves Florida. He insists that everything anyone could ever want is right there and it's a short flight - what could be more perfect?

He is also a great lover of cruises, so I've found that travel medium allows us to see other places, but preserves his love of the sun, scuba diving etc.

Our next big vacation, (after spring break in FL!!) is to travel to Hawaii. I have his interest in this one as it is a beach destination with golf and scuba diving. Two oldest sons are wanting to go too, so will probably splurge and stay somewhere really nice, or take a cruise around the islands.

I am not a camper. I have three boys and a husband who all like to camp, so from a very young age, camping was the male bonding experience in our house and Mom stayed home and watched her chick flicks and read her books in the quiet of a house missing 4 men/boys!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 9:20AM
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As a kid we did many vacations every year, but as an My DH's business peaked during the warm months, and we're not cold weather people, so we never took vacations. I HATE IT! I used to use my vacation time to do home projects.

So I've decided to change things up and I go, even if he doesn't. I want to do a lot more travelling, but it's hard because we have so many dogs. I'm not a big camper, I'd do it if we had a trailer. I'd rather go on a hiking trip than fishing however.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 10:20AM
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Great thread! I have traveled but I am just now learning to embrace the idea of vacations in my (ahem) middle age.

We did vacation growing up-- but my dad is a workaholic and trips were often day trips with my mom packing up all four kids (often with a neighbor or friend and their kids) and heading out to Philadelphia or Washington DC or some back woods historic site. We did whole family vacations but they were often planned around our out of town sporting events or visiting family in Oklahoma. We did do Atlantic City a few times-- but my mom hates the beach so it wasn't an annual thing.

As an young adult, I traveled a fair amount-- I was an exchange student to South Africa in my teens and I worked for an airline for the first 10 years of my working life. As my career picked up, I found I settled into a way of life that didnt include weeks off at a time. I did a lot of weekend travel-- Philadelphia, NYC, Ithaca NY.. but nothing that required more than a day or so away from work. In fact, I took my first vacation in years this time last year-- two weeks in the upper midwest. I visited friends, dined out, shopped, museumed, biked-- nothing special but I did what i wanted totally on MY schedule. It was so nice that I ended up extending it a third week!

I am now on an unplanned vacation, as I was laid off earlier this year. It's not quite the same thing lol. While I have taken a number of trips this spring/summer, I am not really able to sit back and relax and enjoy the respite from work. I consider these trips more a change of venue than a vacation.

My boyfriend is a vacationer-- but he's one to make the same trip year after year. He likes to rent a villa in Jamaica. I am up for that but I also want to visit new locations-- Quebec, Nova Scotia, Northern Michigan, Europe (ALL of Europe!), Ecuador.. and the list goes on. I will also hit some old favorites-- NYC, New Mexico, New England, Seattle, Northern California... and yes, I'd love to return to Africa.

I am pretty easy to please-- love the cities, the beaches and the mountains. I enjoy traveling on a shoestring as well as indulging and pampering. I hope that when I am employed again that I will embrace the idea of vacationing and make a point to PLAN them into my schedules. It's not all work and home chores after all.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 11:19AM
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DH does a lot of business travel, and I frequently tag along. Most of it is domestic, but some is international. We can be just as happy driving in a car for hours through the cornfields of the Midwest (always something surprising & delightful to see) as being ensconced in a nice hotel in a European city. Equally good. We try to rent bikes when traveling.

Since getting into photography, I'm especially enjoying exploring small town America. DH had a business trip to northeastern Indiana last month. I spent the day driving around to small towns taking pictures: a visit to Cole Porter's boyhood home & burial site, the picturesque libraries, the once grand old homes, Main Streets that still evoke the late 19th/early 20th century, farm houses & barns, sparkling blue skies and fields of green. Great stuff!

Our two best finds this year:
the West Baden Springs, IN, resort & spa:

Surely one of the wonders of the world, tucked in the limestone hills & forests of Indiana.

And US 166 between Coffeyville, KS, & Arkansas City, KS. We drove it at dusk. The beautiful vistas in the setting sun were outstanding. No billboards, very little sign of civilization, and no traffic. DH said the road was well engineered, so he could drive fast. I want to go back on a summer night when there's a full moon. The silvery moonlight on the ravines & low hills & prairie grasses would be fantastic.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 11:26AM
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awm03 - French Lick, IN was one of my parent's favorite places to go for a weekend re-charge once they were empty nesters.

tinam61- so often I read your posts and think you and I are cut from the same cloth and again now with this post. I love travel but I NEED vacations! And we would be that other couple down on the far side of the beach from you, me with a book, DH watching the birds flit in the water..... then both of us walking the waterline. For 12 years we spent two weeks each summer in a cottage in in South Haven, MI - met another couple the first year with daughters the same age as our sons and every year after we vacationed together. We'd bring our boat, we'd set up 'camp' on the beach then spend the days skiing, snoozing, snacking... I could feel my vacation self coming out as we'd round the bottom of Lake Michigan on the drive there each year. Great memories. I love to travel, also and hope to do more someday but DH is self employed and it's difficult because when he's not working he's not earning so for the moment we take small trips to recharge. Savannah and Beaufort was one of our favorites a few years ago. And if this Asheville move every becomes a reality, we look forward to exploring more in that neck of the woods.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 11:52AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Hehe, we will be doing plenty of relaxing on our trip, Tina!
I do have every day planned out, but it is more about where we will be as opposed to what we will do. We have 6 days at an inn in Vermont where nothing is on the schedule except finding a grocery store so I can cook and a day excursion into Montreal. Then 3 days in Boston with only the museum and the walking tour planned.
More than enough to do for us!
I don't really like sitting doing nothing even with a spectacular view, unless I have a great book to read or at least moderately good conversion. The view alone enthralls for about half and hour then I'm bored.

The biggest issue is finding some good books. I'm hard to please.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 1:06PM
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We usually go on a vacation somewhere once or twice a year. At times when one or both of us have been traveling a lot for work we've just wanted to stay home for vacation. We have a weekend lake place and during those times we've usually taken our "vacation" there. However if too much time has passed and I haven't been anywhere I get restless to go.

We like the adventure of exploring new places we've never been before. The idea of going to the same place year after year is not appealing at all. Much as I've loved some of the places I've gone, part of the thrill for me is discovering the place for the first time. My current mission is to get to the last few states I've never been to. Spent time seeing some of the national parks in Utah this spring and going to Connecticut in October.

Lately I've really been enjoying VRBO rentals. Usually a much better value and I love having a little "home away from home" rather than a hotel room. We have stayed in some very nice VRBO rentals - my favorite was an ocean front condo on Kiawah Island in SC.

Though I will usually take in a few of the local tourist traps when I go some where I quickly tire of that scene. I enjoy more out of the way places where I can learn more about the local culture, history, even agriculture. I find mostly tourists at the tourist attractions - not local culture. We're also not fond of going somewhere and doing things we can easily do at home - play tennis, golf, read a book, etc.

I love international travel but I too have a geriatric cat (three cats total) and I really hate to leave them for very long. Might be more open to doing that when the geriatric one is no longer with us.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 1:43PM
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Tina, your adventures sound marvelous...I love to hear about them!

I know we are peculiar not to take vacations. I do look forward to a time when I can accompany dh on his travels again, but sadly, that will also mean that my precious Jasmine kitty is no longer with us!

Dh has only so much vacation time. His current employer offers nothing in terms of continuing ed or the like, which is important to my dh, so both the class he took and the meeting he attended this past summer were on his own dime.

Not only was the tuition for the class, the meeting attendance fee, hotel, plane, food, all paid for by him, but he also used a week of vacation time for each experience, since the employer does not cover the time off. In addition, he must save a certain amount of vacation time (at least 2 weeks) for traveling to Asia to visit his family. He likes to have extra time on hand in case of an emergency abroad too. So that, in a nutshell, explains our lack of vacation planning!

Awm03--awesome pic!

Bumblebeez, your trip sounds fantastic! I love Montreal and Boston. Beautiful cities! Have a great time!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 1:45PM
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I'm loving this thread!

DLM - I forgot about your possible move! We LOVE that area and have visited many little cities/towns in NC. Also enjoyed the quieter beaches up through the Outer Banks. Maybe one day we will run into each other! How funny would that be! LOL

AWM03 - we also love small town America. Most place we go we will explore the area and surrounding towns. There is a little town in NC (can't think of the name) that is Mayberry, TN!! We love road trips and do not fly. I guess I should mention we are neither one really interested in international travel. So much here in the US to explore. We have been up through Canada and that is beautiful country.

Bumble, you said, "I don't really like sitting doing nothing even with a spectacular view, unless I have a great book to read or at least moderately good conversion. The view alone enthralls for about half and hour then I'm bored." I don't have a problem with that. We both lead busy lives and vacation is one of the times I do make time to read. There is also great conversation as there is no one I'd rather travel with than my husband. We can talk about anything and everything - or simply sit in silence. As for the view - it's not just the view for me - it's the surroundings and the sense of peace it brings me. Water soothes my soul like nothing else. An inn where you can cook? I've never heard of that.

Gibby - you are right there in my spot! Kiawah Island!! We actually prefer Seabrook - and through VRBO found a couple in NJ with a lovely villa and a private dock. We have rented from them several times. She and I even email. I have found several good rentals from VRBO. We prefer condos, villas, etc. to hotels. On the islands I mentioned, hotels are few and far between. Our small dog accompanies us many times, and last year we even rented a LOVELY little cottage in the Highlands (NC) full of antiques. It was heavenly. Same thing last fall, we rented a cottage in Mt. Pleasant (inland but near Charleston and beaches) with a fenced in back yard. We will probably be renting that place again next spring.

Stinky, you are NOT peculiar. Different strokes for different folks. I understand about your cat (see above). I am very, very particular about who I would leave the pup with. She travels with us much more than not. Thankfully she has been doing that from day one, so she is used to it. If she were not able, I would not be going. I meant to say in the other thread though, that we are opposites on the big city thing. I am a country girl till I die, and while I have enjoyed visiting some big cities, I am not completely comfortable in big cities. I have visited NYC and loved many things, but the hustle, bustle, the crowds, etc. are so not me. Loved New Orleans, but felt unsafe there. Have visited DC many times and have enjoyed much there, but we have always stayed outside the city. I remember my first trip there and how weird it was hearing sirens so often!

And to whoever mentioned vacationing at home - we did that two different weeks this spring! We did camp 2 or 3 days one of those weeks, but we enjoyed having more time to take the boat out, visiting sites in our own area, lolling around in our backyard, etc.

haha I often joke that I work so we can vacation.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 2:24PM
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What a great thread, tina! One of my favorite topics to dream about and discuss! I completely understand what you mean when you differentiate between vacationing and traveling. Traveling is what I do with my mother when we try to see as much of those charming little English villages as humanly possible in a too-short amount of time. Vacationing is what I do with DH when we leave it all behind for two weeks and spend time at a beachy location ... sometimes we even have days where we don't leave our condo at all, but just lounge around, reading, napping, and eating, in our pj's or skivvies for 24 hours straight. The "lazy vacationing slob" side of me just wouldn't fit into traveling mode, and vice versa - but I so appreciate that I have the opportunity to experience foreign destinations in both manners!

I have vacationed quite a bit in the U.S., although not since DH and I have been married. When we were still dating, we spent a weekend in Clearwater, Florida and had a lovely time. We looked into going back not long ago, but it was actually less expensive to just go to one of our favorite Mexican beach destinations instead.

We are not resort/hotel people, but always rent privately owned condos. They don't have to be upscale or fancy, so long as they are clean and comfy (and in the case of my England travels, they must be clean, comfy and cute cottages).

I too often joke that I work in order to take trips. I must admit, that's not entirely untrue! I do love to go to different places, but I've also really begun to appreciate how wonderful it is to come back home too. (And, of course, then to immediately start planning the next trip! I love to plan!)

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 3:03PM
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Growing up farming made things difficult vacation-wise!
Dad would go fishing in Canada in the summer, but we lost him in 1975.
After that, we just never went anywhere...

In late High-school, '78-'79, I got to travel to D.C., and to San-Diego.
That was about it until our Hawaiian Honeymoon on Oahu & Kauai!!
Since DD was born Sept. 1990, it's been Yellowstone, Winnipeg, and many trips to Mpls. When DD graduated HS in '09, we went to Hawaii...Oahu & Maui (@ the stunning Four-Seasons!!!).
The Girls went to NY last October, and sounds like they're goin' again this Dec.!


    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 8:20PM
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stinky, I didn't take that picture, it's from Google images. Just thought I should make that clear so somebody doesn't claim copyright infringement!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 8:44PM
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Like faron I grew up in a farming family (Nebraska) and we took brief local trips and only two further away that I can remember... Colorado to sight-see and Alabama to see family.

My husband and I continued the farming tradition and early on had livestock that really limited travel. But I always said I wanted to broaden my horizons and see other places, so initially we started by going to commodity meetings in AZ, TX, FL, CO, TN, KY, etc. I applied for a leadership program that took me to DC, Thailand, Mayalasia, Singapore & South Korea. Our older kids chose to go to college out of state so that took us to IN, OH, IL, MA.

We got rid of the livestock (but still farm)and branched our business into different areas and added employees so we could get away a little more (but that also complicated our lives a lot more). Then the kids chose careers that took them various places so more travel: WA (with side trip to Vancouver), NY (where daughter got married), CA (where son got married) and the Philippines (and side-trip to the island of Boracay). Since my family is scattered I visit them in MN (side-trip to Winnipeg), WY, OK, IA, VA and MO. A few years back we started planning a family meeting with our adult "kids" at a different location each year so we've been to TX, GA, NY and CA. This year we're traveling to Argentina. We've been blessed with the opportunity to travel! Our main motto throughout the year is "work and church", and we volunteer for various causes. We don't really have any expensive hobbies, or even shop for Christmas/birthdays, so we've learned to create memories through our travels and experiences. Our travels have enriched our lives and benefited our business through the contacts we have made and the ideas we have gathered.

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” - Henry Miller

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 9:45PM
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Not sure why the quote is garbled like should read:
"One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things" - Henry Miller

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 11:40PM
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Great quote, Hill!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 7:37AM
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With DH owning his own clinic, it's been impossible for him to be away more than 2 weekends and the week in between . . . and then usually only once a year. That trip we take every Summer back to Michigan to visit my very large family. We have standing reservations for a large group of cottages on Lake Huron there. There's no planning other than tea together on our parents front porch in the mornings, maybe some shopping or golf a few days. Afternoons are always spent lazing around on our beach there. Communal dinners outside under the trees and then every night our big bonfire where we sit around talking, singing and relaxing. I think relaxing and family time is our main focus on these yearly vacations.

The rest of our trips are usually long 3-4 day weekends someplace we can drive to fairly quickly or fly to without having any connecting flights. We try to take at least 4 of these a year. In the past few years, that's been Taos, Sedona, Tucson, Galveston Island, Dallas, Durango and Ft. Collins (CO). With them, relaxation is always our main goal, although I do get on ahead of time to research good places to stay, eat and sightsee. We may not get to them all but they're there if/when we do need them. Neither DH or myself like to come back from a vacation exhausted.

We've taken one week-long Caribbean cruise and DH swears that he'll never go on another. Too much wasted time on the ship with too many people, he says (LOL). I'd thankfully booked a room with a large private balcony, and he spent most of our ship time out there reading and relaxing. He wanted nothing to do with the ship's crowded pools and activities.

This January we'll be celebrating our 30th anniversary and (being in the dead of Winter) will probably take a longer trip back to one of our favorite (warm/beach) spots: Kauai, Tortola, St. Thomas or St. John. We know these places, so much of our time will be spent relaxing on a beach, snorkeling and hitting some of our favorite restaurants.

Wherever we do vacation I always need to stay someplace I feel is pretty, welcoming and safe. We prefer renting condos or suites over a regular hotel room, as we enjoy "cooking in" sometimes, especially breakfasts. We also like being able to sit outside on a patio or balcony to enjoy the views and read. That down-time is so important to us, especially DH. His job is long hours and high stress, so my job is to plan away time for him/us to relax and regroup.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 11:46AM
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Travel versus vacation. That's a great explanation of my husband's style compared to mine. He has a ton of what I call nervous energy; the guy CANNOT be still a moment. He also is a huge nature and history lover who cannot tolerate crowds and especially crowds doing pop culture things. So when we have traveled together, it is always based on constant motion (the different-hotel-every-night mode), and always to places that are off the beaten path and/or historical. I do have lots of fun doing those trips too. When we went to Hawa'ii we ended up exploring the cultural history, sites and artifacts of Polynesian culture. Fascinating, I will never forget being the ONLY people at the birthplace of King Kamehameha, a completely isolated spit of land extending into the Pacific. Incredible. We also both love US history so that has been something we bond over. National and state historical parks and protected areas are our passion. Walking a battlefield and pondering the lives lost there, the causes struggled over, the tide of history changed...or walking through a home where someone like Andrew Jackson lived and loved and went forth to change history by his life. Or sitting at a picnic table in the midst of a sunny clearing with a view of a quiet river, or hazy mountains and nothing but silence and the sound of the birds. All that makes indelible memories.

But...I also can have a great time exploring a city. Or, and this is my joy, renting a place on the beach in Captiva where I can settle in and relish a daily routine of sleeping late, reading on the beach, napping, and then nice dinners out. Paradise. I've done that trip for 6 summers now and hope to continue, well, forever :). Like several others, I enjoy renting a cottage or a condo so I can settle into my own little nest.

Loving this topic and everyone's experiences!


    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 1:34PM
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I agree about renting a cottage or apartment. For a vacation, I like to find a place that is quiet with great views but where I can still get to the local sights and restaurants. I like to mix up sight-seeing with shopping and relaxing. I just want to move at my own pace.

What I don;t like is moving from place to place too much. It seems then too much time is taken up with packing, unpacking and getting to where you are going. We rented an Apt. in Paris and that was great. Unpack once, lots of privacy and a place to "come home to" at the end of the day.

I vacationed with a friend a few times and he is itchy. It felt like we spent half our time in the car going from here to there when we had a perfectly lovely place that we had rented on a lake. I a little of each works for me.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 3:26PM
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